So I recently EQ'd my MacBook Pro to get better sound out of my ATH-M50s. I've noticed that while the sound is much clearer, my ears get very sensitive after listening for a while. Turning off the EQ makes the sound worse but lets me listen for longer. Right now I can listen for about an hour to an hour and a half before it starts getting intolerable. I used to be able to listen for 5-6 hours at a time before I had an issue.
To be more clear, my ears/eardrums do not hurt and I do not get a headache. It's like the clarity of the music gets to be signal overload for my ears and they get very sensitive to the sound and they start having a fingers-on-chalkboard response to the stimulus from the headphones and I have to stop listening for a while.
I've made sure to adjust to the extra volume due to the EQing by turning the volume down so the volume is the same DB as my previous listening. I can't really narrow it down to a band of sounds either (highs, mids, or lows). They all irritate my ears equally once it starts. As soon as I take off the phones outside sound doesn't bother them, but it's a little while (15-30 mins) before I can listen comfortably again.
Are my ears just trying to adjust to the clarity or what? The sound is amazing but I'd really like to be able to listen for longer periods of time.
For those wondering, my EQ looks like this (pretty typical headphone EQ):
Thanks in advance to anyone who can help me figure this one out.